{Levi - Dedication}


Levi Daniel, we dedicated you to the Lord!

It felt like a leap of faith for mama and papa to hope for one more child.Yet we had this feeling that more was meant for our family. You are an answer to that prayer and we love our brave sweet boy.

Today we dedicated you to the Lord. We believe we cannot make the decision for you to accept Jesus as Lord of your life. You will have the opportunity as you grow older to make that decision for yourself. We promise to raise you to know who God is, that God loves you and cares for you, and has known you since before you were born. We will pray for you. We will seek grace and wisdom to carry out these responsibilities. We promise to surround you with a community of people who love you and can help guide you.

During the church service today, Papa shared about our experience growing our family and Pastor Jeremiah prayed that God would watch over and guard you, use you in powerful ways, that you would follow God, and that you would be equipped according to God's will.

Our community joined us in making a commitment to raise you to know God. Then, we had a lovely party at the Allen's to celebrate. It was a very special day.

Here are some photos from your special day!

{Levi - 5 Months}


Levi Daniel, you are five months old!

You sailed through your fifth month of life! Your happy disposition is a joy to be around. Papa and I both say, our favorite thing to do is watch you watch you big brother. You love watching Elijah and you love all the silly noises that he makes. You are constantly smiling and laughing around him. Elijah, like wise loves to play with you on your play mat and enjoys showing you the books he is looking at.

Levi, you seem to have hit a growth spurt and are requiring more food! One day, you were incredibly grumpy which was out of the norm for you. It took mama a bit to figure out, but when I offered you some extra food – you gobbled it up. We started supplementing with formula and you have done well with that. You are getting a mix of mama breastfeeding you and supplementing with bottles. You finally started taking a bottle from mama which has been a big relief. Typically you get 2 bottles at some point in the day to keep you full. You outgrew your 6 month clothes and are solidly into 9 month clothes.

Just as you celebrated 5 months you started rolling from your tummy to your back. It is the cutest thing to watch as you cautiously make that roll. You’ve started babbling more at us which has been fun! You make “ba-ba” sounds and “da-da” sounds, which of course your papa claims that “dada” was your first word. You have also developed a strong grasp and my hair is often in your hands.  You continue to be very content laying down, holding your feet, and babbling. You also have started to notice Charlie more. When she comes around, your eyes are definitely on her.

Levi, your sleep continues to be all over the place. On a good night you only do one wake up in the 1am-3am hour. On a tough night you are up 2-3 times. It seems like if you get good sleep during the day you are more inclined to sleep well at night. But if you don’t sleep well during the day, anything can go at night. At least when you wake up at night you are a happy guy and smile as soon as you see me. Papa and I think we will do more focused sleep training at the end of November.

Your 5th month has been busy. You had your second laser treatment for your birthmark. You are of course very unhappy during the treatment, but then shortly after you are all smiles again. You have done great as you transitioned into your daycare class. You do not sleep very well, but you enjoy all the sights and sounds. You also started up in your infant class at Community Bible Study. We are still trying to figure out a good routine for Thursdays at CBS so that you do not get over tired. You also recently went to your first pumpkin patch and your first Seahawks game!

During your 6th month of life we think you are looking forward to being dedicated at church, a family trip to the Pumpkin patch, being at home more with mama as she resigns her job, and celebrating your first Halloween.

Here are some photos from your fifth month of life:

{Levi - 4 Months}


Levi Daniel, you are four months old!

This last month has been a big month for you Levi, and you have handled every new challenge so well. Mama and Papa think this is a glimpse into your personality and character.  You are growing into such a big boy! At your 4 month checkup you weighed 15lbs, 13.5oz (57th percentile) and were 28.8 inches long (75th percentile).

You started your fourth month with your first laser treatment for your birthmark. While the actual procedure was difficult and painful, you recuperated within a few minutes and were back to your smiley disposition. You were so tired, that after a few smiles you fell asleep right away. Mama really struggled with that first treatment. It was hard to see you in any pain or discomfort. It is also incredibly difficult to feel like this is the right or best decision. However, even though it is hard now, mama and papa do believe this is the right choice for you. For two weeks after your treatment your face looked bruised, though it did not seem to bother you at all.

You also started up at daycare a few weeks ago. You have the same teachers that Elijah had and that has been such a comfort to mama. You have had no issues with drop off. All of your teachers remark at your happy disposition. It took you a few days before you actually cried, and even then it was to let everyone know that you were hungry. Your sleep at daycare has definitely been off. Some days you do several small naps. Other days you will do a nice long nap and a few short ones. Overall though you are adjusting well to this big change. Your routine on a work day is that I wake you up at 5:40am, change your diaper and get you in your car seat. Your brother is already up and dressed at this point. I get you guys loaded into the car and try to get out of the house by 5:50am. You have been staying awake during the ride to daycare, I can hear you chewing on your fingers and happily babbling. Levi, you continue to be a very distracted eater, so it did not work for me to feed you at daycare. You get your first bottle shortly after drop off.  On a non-work day, you are usually up around 7am. We get some play time in the morning and I can usually have you down for your first nap before I get your brother up.

Levi, you started rolling a couple weeks ago! Mama missed your first roll because she was cooking dinner. You were fussing on your play mat and when I went to check on you, there you were on your tummy! You continue to roll frequently from your back to your tummy.  At daycare you have even fallen asleep on your stomach - you have not done that at home yet. You are usually happy on your tummy unless you are tired, then you definitely let us know that you want to be on your back.  While on your play mat, you grab at toys and try to get them in your mouth. You also love to reach out and grab when you are eating - often times if mama is not careful you end up with a chunk of my hair. You really enjoy sitting up, especially if you are sitting in mama or papa's lap.  You seem to like looking all around and looking at books with Elijah.

Your sleep has been all over the place. You still tend to do stretches of 4-6 hours. If it is a work night for mama, it is nice if you get up between 12pm-1am for a feed, so that mama's sleep is broken up into more equal chunks. As you have been sick and approaching four months I would say your stretches of sleep have been in 4 hour chunks.

You finished up your fourth month with another viral bug. You had a fever for 2 days and congestion in your nose. You were still a fairly happy baby, but definitely needed some extra TLC. We are hoping that this bug goes away quickly and you do not get croup like your big brother just had.

Other adventures this last month include riding a bus and a ferry for the first time when we took a family trip to Bainbridge Island for the day and going to the Washington State Fair.

During your 5th month of life we think you are looking forward to starting CBS, spending time with friends, and continuing to adjust to daycare.

Here are some photos and videos from your fourth month of life:

 At the park!
 Smiley after your first laser treatment
 Elijah reads to you!
 Tummy time!

 Sleeping at school

Mama snuggles at church
Family adventure to Bainbridge Island

{Elijah James - 2.5 Years Old}


Elijah James, you are two and a half years old!

Elijah you are a wonderful fireball! It has been an incredible season of growth for you. Your papa and I are constantly challenged, but we are also so in love with your personality, disposition, and character. 

Your verbal and processing skills are off the charts. You speak in clear, complete sentences. You have begun to think abstractly as you process information. You continue to make observations of the world around you. In the car you like to make comments about what Papa and I are doing (using two hands to drive, pointing out green lights and asking if we see the buses). 

Your motor skills are becoming more fine tuned. You love to jump, march, dance, spin, run, and skip (which looks eerily similar to jumping).  You enjoy putting things together and doing puzzles or playing with your bead maze. When you play with mama and papa you really love directing what we do and coming up with new ways to play with your toys. Your favorite toys at home are your kitchen, your race car track, and your magnetic blocks. You are becoming so imaginative in your play. You love pretending to make up different types of food in your kitchen. Or you like when mama and you wear my nursing pillows around the house and play Super Mama and Super Elijah.

Elijah just before you turned two you started potty training. There were times when we wondered if we had started too early. The process started slowly, but then you really took off with it. You are doing fabulously. You typically only have accidents if you don't take a potty break before watching  TV or if you are having too much fun. Going potty at daycare has also finally clicked for you and you are doing great there. It is so great to see how successful you are.

It has been so delightful to see you transition into a big brother Elijah. You are incredibly sweet with Levi. You ask about Levi if he isn't in the room, you always want to hug, kiss, or snuggle him. I love when you sing Levi songs to help him not be sad, or you share your toys with Levi. Often I find your cars in the bouncer seat with Levi and it makes me smile. You really enjoy helping with Levi as much as possible. You throw diapers away, you like to carry the car-seat, and push the stroller. You also ask most days if you can hold Levi. You have such a look of pride when you help with Levi. Mama and papa are so incredibly proud of the big brother that you are turning into. We did have a rough transition after Levi was born. You had spent 3 days with our friends the Kaetzel's. While you did great with them, you seemed to struggle with being away from us for so long. For a few weeks you often brought up the phrase "mama and papa always come back." We spent a lot of time giving you lots of choices and that seemed to help you feel in control again and start getting back to yourself.

Elijah, you continue to be fiercely independent. You still struggle if you have an expectation of how something should go and it doesn't work out the way you want. This comes out in how you want to do things such as opening and closing doors, pushing buttons, and making things in the kitchen.  Often mama and papa have to stop and help you use your words and identify what you are feeling. It has also been helpful if we let you know ahead of time that you won't do something. Transitions can be difficult for you, especially when we are leaving a place. You tend to do better if we talk about the upcoming transition and also use a timer. 

At two and a half, you are almost 35 pounds. You also have your top 2 year molars and are working on the bottom. This has has been cause for some tough nights where you might moan in pain or cry out during the night. There was one really bad night where you didn't want to sleep in your bed and you and papa snuggled on the couch all night. You are still in your papa phase big time. You often start yelling in excitement when papa comes home and you ask about him during the day. When papa comes home you ask him to do everything. One example is when you need your chair scooted in at dinner. You will say to me "No mama, don't scoot me in, Papa has to do it." You have also been into buses lately, and you were asking papa to take you on a bus trip. So far you have done that twice and you have absolutely loved it. There may have been tears when it was time to get off the bus.

Here are some funny things you've been saying lately:
  • You often finish many statements with "I think." For example you will say "I want a quesadilla for lunch, I think." or "I have to go potty, I think".
  • You love saying "Thank you" and then we say "your welcome" and then you say "Thank you for saying your welcome." You like us to say "Thank you for saying you're welcome!"
  • You enjoy singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and then ask that we sing Itsy Bitsy Spidey.
  • Other favorite songs: The Papa Song, It is Well, Streams of Mercy (Come thou Fount), I Love you Lord, Jesus loves me (you also ask that we sing Jesus loves Papa, Mama, and Levi), Joy Joy (I have the Joy), Old McDonald, The Wheels on the Bus, and You are My Sunshine.
  • "Excuse me" - You've realized that you can interrupt conversation by saying Excuse me. Though usually you don't have anything to say, you just like the effect. One day when we were video chatting with grandma you said "Excuse me, I don't like it when you talk." Mama laughed so hard, that now you think it is okay to say it all the time. Whoops!
  • "Mama how about we snuggle?" - You've been asking to snuggle with mama more lately and that has been so wonderful.
  • "I sure am" or "I sure did" - You often respond to people's questions with one of these two responses. It cracks us up and makes you sound so confident. You were asked this week if you were a fast runner and you said "I sure am!" or "Elijah, did you wash your hands?" "I sure did!"
Elijah, these last six months have been full of adventure for you. You took a big trip to DC with papa, celebrated Easter, joined soccer classes, you welcomed your baby brother Levi, you loved having visitors like your Grandma Robin, Auntie Destiny, and Cousin Eleanor. You've also been spending more time with your Grandpa Jerry as he is living closer to us. You have enjoyed hanging with your buddy Dominic, you two have been out to doughnuts, to the zoo, the gymnastics gym, the wading pool, the park and play dates at Dominic's house. You loved a recent trip with friends to Leavenworth. If we are at a body of water you love throwing rocks and sticks into the water and getting your feet wet.

Elijah, we are so excited that you will be starting Preschool this fall. We had some flexibility with keeping you in your current class, which mama wanted to do. Papa reminded me though of what a capable, intelligent, and inquisitive young man you are and that you would rise to the challenge of preschool. We, think you will thrive with this new challenge!

In the next six months we think you are looking forward to starting preschool, visiting grandparents in Florida, celebrating Christmas, and heading to Seabrook with the Kaetzel's for the New Year!

Here are a few photos and videos from the last 6 months!